The Queensland Conservation Council urges the Government to ensure that the impact of climate change is a key focus within the Federal Government investigation into the nation's emergency warning system, triggered by heightened scrutiny over announcement delays from the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM).
Dave Copeman says "Australia is facing unprecedented challenges due to climate change, and our emergency systems must adapt to these new realities. We know that as the climate warms, extreme weather events become both more intense and more unpredictable.
"What we have seen in Cairns and the Gold Coast are clear examples of this. The inquiry is an essential step in ensuring that our emergency warning system is responsive to current challenges, but it also needs to ensure that it can handle the increased uncertainty and amplified risks posed by a changing climate.
"Climate change has been missing from the public discussion about these disasters, by political leaders and media reports, and yet the lessons for how we report and respond to these must be informed by climate science.
"We call on the Government to take a holistic approach, where the inquiry includes the impact on a changing climate into the core of emergency warning systems and response strategies.
"With it predicted that Australian households will be paying $35.24 billion every year for the direct costs of extreme weather by 2050, we must invest in more than just an improved warning system. Faster warning systems are important, but they can’t predict every extreme event, and are only part of the solution.
"We need to build greater community capacity to act together as they prepare and respond to extreme weather events. The research shows that a community’s capacity to collaborate, for neighbours to reach out and organise is an essential part of emergency response, and more effective ways to support this action needs to be part of the solution."
For media inquiries, please contact: Jenny Brown - email@example.com - 0412899 059
0412 899 059